Borgen is Killing Cameron – Is Nordic democracy a Bridge too far?

UK news agency The Press Association reports that “British PM David Cameron has urged the BBC to produce more home-grown dramas and comedies instead of relying on Danish imports such as the international hit series ‘Borgen‘, ‘Broen‘ (The Bridge) and Forbrydelsen (The Killing)”.

Apparently our Dave doesn’t cope well with reading subtitles and taking in the action all at once. Whether he also has problems patting his head while rubbing his tummy remains unknown.

Thankfully, new BBC million pound costume drama Jamaica Inn should play better at Cameron Towers – you only need to watch the pictures, you can’t hear what anyone’s saying anyway…without subtitles. Oh. Continue reading

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Borgen solves the Minimum Wage issue: Don’t have one

I’m only just getting my head around how, here in Britain, our tax money pays an army of private landlords £35 billion a year in rent.  In fact, this is so common that the Government has invented a euphemism for it: Housing Benefit.

And now I discover that, on top of that, we also foot £24 billion worth of the wage bill of thousands of large companies, who are too stingy to pay people a proper wage. And get this, there’s a euphemism for that as well: Tax Credits.

So, the British welfare system is working really well. For landlords and supermarkets.

Shurely shome mishtake? A quick perusal of the Oxford dictionary confirms that a welfare system is a system whereby the state undertakes to protect the health and well-being of its citizens, especially those in financial or social need, by means of grants, pensions, and other benefits.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t seem to run into a lot of landlords in financial or social need these days, and I don’t think Tesco or Asda are short of a bob or two. (Other Supermarkets are available). But do any of them pay the minimum wage – let alone a Living Wage? Continue reading